Last year, the incidence of suicides among U.S. military personnel increased by 15%, raising concerns among senior authorities. They called for additional effort to change the tragic trend.
There were 580 suicides last year, up from 504 the year before, according to figures released on Thursday, Sept. 30.
“The findings are troubling,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “Suicide rates among our service members and military families are still too high, and the trends are not going in the right direction.”
In the U.S. military, suicide has been an issue for a long time. Military officials have said they thought the COVID-19 pandemic was increasing pressure on an already stressed force. In addition, the causes of committing suicide are complicated and not understandable.
According to a behavioral survey, several personal issues, including financial and marital stress, are related to military suicides.
In Army National Guard troops, suicides increased about 35%, from 76 in 2019 to 103 in 2020. A nearly 20% rise in similar cases was seen in the active-duty Army.
Suicides increased more than 30% in Marine Corps, from 47 to 62, while the deaths went from 9 to 10 in the Marine Corps Reserves.
Meanwhile, suicides cases decreased from 81 to 79 in the Navy. The Air Force had no change with 109 cases.
For many years, military officials have been trying to minimize apprehension about seeking mental health support.
According to the Associated Press, in a notably public declaration last year, Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated he needed counseling from a psychiatrist while leading U.S. Strategic Command from 2016 to 2019, according to
Army authorities described suicide as a big concern for the service on Thursday, Sept. 30, stressing that the tendency has increased for the past five years.
According to the Pentagon, enlisted male military members under the age of 30 were the most likely to commit suicide. Men under 30 accounted for around 63 percent of suicide deaths, despite accounting for fewer than 42 percent of the entire force.
John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, promised to increase assistance for military personnel and veterans to enhance their mental health and quality of life. As a result, the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs collaborate to reverse the sad tendency.
“We must redouble our efforts to provide all of our people with the care and the resources they need to reduce stigmas and barriers to that care, and to ensure that our community uses simple safety measures and precautions to reduce the risk of future tragedies,” said Kirby according to One America News Network.
“We’ll continue to work swiftly and urgently in close collaboration with our partners at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” he went on to say.
According to a report released in June, about 30,000 U.S. veterans and troops have committed suicide since 2001.
.@PentagonPresSec: Today, the Department of Defense released the Calendar Year 2020 Annual Suicide Report. We continue to take action to prevent suicides while supporting our military members and their families. As the Secretary has said, every death by suicide is a tragedy. pic.twitter.com/eWnJz4Balg— Department of Defense 🇺🇸 (@DeptofDefense) September 30, 2021